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Cookbook Love Podcast

Feb 14, 2019

Today on the podcast I talk about recipe headnotes. Recipe headnotes are an optional part of a recipe and their appearance determined by the recipe-writing style of the author or the publisher. (To learn more about recipe-writing style you may enjoy listening to Episode 11). But, for many of the reasons I’ll discuss today, cookbook lovers and cooks in general love recipe headnotes. They add personality and liven up the writing in a cookbook. It’s up to an author if they want to use headnotes in their cookbook, as well as what information an author wants to include in a headnote, but there are many items that can be covered with a recipe headnote:


  1. Introduces a recipe
  2. Draws the reader into the recipe
  3. Lends personality to the recipe
  4. Alerts the cook to special ingredients or techniques
  5. Provides tips on preparation or presentation
  6. Acknowledges a source of recipe inspiration or gives attribution
  7. Gives recipe history or origin
  8. Helps the cook envision the dish
  9. Provides serving tips
  10. Discusses ingredients in the recipe

Things We Mention In This Episode:


  • Recipes into Type by Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon
  • The Recipe Writer’s Handbook by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane L. Baker
  • Podcast Episode 11: Take a Look at Recipe-writing Style